It's interesting to hear every year the one thing that is going to propel the industry beyond voice and text messaging revenues for the operator community in Europe. First it was WAP, then GPRS, W-CDMA and a host of nifty handsets such as camera phones, music phones and mobile TV phones. At this year's 3GSM show it was HSDPA, which upgrades WCDMA speeds to about 1 Mbps. A number of operators announced HSDPA plans last week while Ericsson said it will drive mass-market consumption of 3G services in 2006 because it offers higher data speeds.
It seems to me a lot more work needs to be done for users to be attracted to HSDPA services. Two major barriers to high-speed mobile wireless services we keep hearing about are complexity and high cost, and UBS Investment Research points out that the biggest uncertainty surrounding HSDPA technology has nothing to do with technology issues but rather the development of ecosystems to deliver content over mobile broadband. I like UBS' new definition of HSDPA: Hoping Speed Delivers Prosperity. Amen.
I also received an email from a major handset supplier challenging the story we linked to that quoted soft switch company Netcentrix as saying that the battery life in cellular/WiFi handsets is poor. Early prototypes had no optimization built into them, but existing dual-mode devices have standby time nearly similar to that of today's mobile-only devices, the company explained. We'll see how this issue plays out going forward.
Lastly, Airgo's David Borison wrote an intriguing piece on Friday about the dangers of developing 802.11n chipsets before the standard is completed. Unfortunately, in my spell-checking haste, I pushed the "change" button instead of the "ignore all" button, which resulted in some simple spelling errors, such as VIP instead of VoIP and MIMI instead of MIMO. To add insult to injury, I spelled David's name wrong at the end! My apologies. - Lynnette